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State of the Muppets - An Opinion

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Frogster, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Frogster Active Member

    First off, before I go on my rant on why I can't stand Muppets these days, I will give credit to this site, for being a place where fans like myself can say whatever they want (within reason) about Muppets, whether it's good or bad. I'm sure we all truly appreciate this site as a place where we can feel comfortable sharing our feelings about something we all love. Furthermore, I'm personally thankful that Muppeteers don't spend every minute of the day seeing what we have to say (although I'm aware some of them show up on here, and have even posted a time or two) but the best thing is, if we fans say something negative, they can't talk back lol... So anyways, here I go.

    This is, of course, about the Muppets appearing on Disney this past week. And for those of you who can actually say you enjoy it, I got one thing to ask: Are you serious? Think about it. Over ten years ago, Henson pulled together a mediocre version of The Muppet Show with a nobody (Clifford) at the helm. You don't even see him in the shows or movies except Muppets From Space. And while it was a pretty sad excuse for a TMS2, it's not near as bad as what went down here recently. I've never even heard of Sweet Life with Zack and Cody till about a year ago when Lisa Simpson mentioned them on The Simpsons. Then a while later, I went to my cousins and saw some of my younger cousins watching the show (they are 4 and 9) and I personally couldn't stand it, especially the bellhop guy we saw talking to Kermit in the special.

    And Miley Cyrus? I honestly don't know what's worse; her singing or the fact her father's actually a 'celebrity' again. It's nothin but another Hillary Duff, people. Do you really want that? And to see her with the Electric Mayhem was painful. And what's with the new Animal puppet? It's a wreck, and doesn't even look much like him. The puppeteering was cringe-worthy too, not just the voices. If people think that those guys did a good job at impersonating and performing Janice, Floyd, Dr. Teeth and Animal, then the guy who plays Mickey Mouse at Disney World (who seems to have some really bad asthma) deserves an Oscar.

    I know Disney is a network geared towards younger people, and as for you younger fans on here, I'm glad you're supportive of the Muppets. But it seems as if the Muppets are continuing to dig themselves further into a hole. The Muppets worked with the best of the best between the 70's thru the 90's. I know that Sweet Life and Miley are for younger people, but us older fans who enjoyed Muppets saw them play to a wide demographic, with no age boundaries, and families, nomatter what the age, watched TMS together, and loved the characters, performers, writing and guest stars. Where's THOSE Muppets? The Muppets that REAL stars wanted to work with; not people like Whoopi Goldberg, David Arquette, and Brandy. Stuff like this makes me cringe. For those of you fans who are around my age and older, and can at least remember a time when TMS was on Nickelodeon, you can't tell me that what the Muppets have done, especially in the last 10 years, hasn't been below average, if not awful.

    I think it's just embarrassingly hilarious whenever I hear new statements from Henson come out, saying that, "We're wanting to appeal to adults in this next project as well as kids." It's a joke, and the Muppets are officially not good.
  2. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Wow I really don't know what to say to that!
  3. theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Seriously

    I'd like to start off by saying how much I love this forum and respect each and every member here--and their posts. I'd like to also state how much I like how varying opinions can be stated and discussed without starting a variable war. This is just another one of those opinions.

    Recently, most recently the premier of Studio DC: Almost Live!, there's been a lot of flack flung in the direction of our beloved "classic" Muppet characters. While I do agree that not all of the latest things have not come up to the high bar set by The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, or maybe even Muppet Treasure Island, a great deal of it has.

    I call your attention, first, to Muppets.com. Have you naysayers (not all of you naysayers, mind you, just the ones who think everything the Muppets do nowadays is total trash) seen these videos? Have you not laughed at the Elevator Bingo sketch? Felt a warm spot inside when Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo dance by on your screen--or when Kermit and Miss Piggy randomly shake and spat gibberish just to make people laugh? If you haven't... www.muppets.com. That's all I have to say to those of you who haven't seen them. The videos presented on that site are at the highest caliber. Quite frankly they're amazing and I personally think they're up to par--some of them even scoring lower than par--than the some of the original sketches seen on The Muppet Show. I don't see how anyone who calls themselves a Muppet fan can't enjoy this stuff.

    Next, ladies and germs, take a peek at YouTube. You'll find that there are four new Muppet videos and five Muppet accounts that host these videos. Beaker, The Swedish Chef, Gonzo the Great, Sam Eagle, and Statler and Waldorf. The videos on this are of higher production value and higher comedic value than the ones on Muppets.com and they most definitely harken back to the days of TMS and the so-called "classic" material. *I* consider these new videos just as "classic" as the older sketches because it follows the classic formula, it features the classic characters, and because the Muppets are singing, and dancing, and making people happy. How much more "classic" can you get?

    Lastly, and this will probably give me a lot of flack, but I really don't care, I'd like to point out Studio DC: Almost Live!. Yes, I realize you don't like Miley Cyrus, yes, I realize you've probably never watched a Disney Channel show because you have taste, and yes, I realize that you don't want to see the Muppets working with the Disney Channel stars, but no, I do not see how you couldn't at least have appreciated what THE MUPPETS did in that special. We are Muppet fanatics. We have all gathered here drawn by a frog, a bear, a bird, a pig, a whatever, a Fraggle--whatever the case we were all drawn here by a creation of Jim Henson. Let me say, now, that I hate it when people say "Jim would want it that way" or "Jim would've hated that" or, most recently and most annoyingly, "Jim is probably rolling in his grave." I, personally, find that highly disrespectful of the man that has brought us all here together and brought us some of the happiest moments in our lives. We didn't know Jim, we may have felt like we did, since we loved him and his characters, but be honest, we did not know Jim (and for those of us on the forum who did... that is SO cool).

    So no, I'm not going to say "Jim would've loved Studio DC!" or "Jim would've retired the Muppets after Studio DC!" but I am going to say that Jim loved innovation, Jim loved television, and Jim wanted his characters to go on as long as there was a demand for them (a direct quote from Mr. Henson himself, from the A&E Biography of Sesame Street... "It’s hard to say how long they’ll live. I think this is something we’re waiting to see from the audience. If the audience wants these characters to live, they will, and if they get tired of them, they’ll go away"). I think that Studio DC shows that there IS still a demand for them (as if MC wasn't enough proof :rolleyes: ). It shows the world that fans still want the Muppets to sing, and dance, and make people happy--and the Muppeteers and the Walt Disney Company still would like for the Muppets to continue to sing, and dance, and make people happy.

    So yes, while Studio DC may not have been The Muppet Show, it was good, old fashioned, Muppets. Miss Piggy was swooning over a male celebrity (Zac Efron), mooching off of a female celebrity (London Tipton), and being jealous of Kermit and some girl ("Bop to the Top"). Kermit tried to hold things together (The Suite Life sketch), was cheeky with a female guest star ("Bop to the Top") and was overrun by Miss Piggy's jealousy (again, "Bop to the Top"). Sure, we all missed Fozzie, Rowlf, Scooter, Bunsen, and Beaker, but it had to fill a half hour time slot--and look at the Muppets we did get. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Pepe, Rizzo, the Swedish Chef, Snowths, chickens, and (most exciting for me) Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

    Say what you will, but they were all in character and performed beautifully (how could you not marvel at Kermit dancing in "Bop to the Top"?). I think that the performers are all doing wonderfully, and that's a good sign. Yes, the writing on Studio DC was poor, but... c'mon? It wasn't the Muppet writers writing the special! It was some unknown writers, probably connected to the Disney shows, which, like it or not, have bad writing.

    Okay, so the writing was bad, your opinion of the Disney Channel stars might be bad, but the Muppets were good, and recently they've been consistently good. Which is good.

    So say what you will about the Muppets nowadays, but I for one feel that we may be on the verge of a massive resurgance back into pop culture--and I couldn't be happier based on the current state of affairs (both domestically and Muppetastically). I salute Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Baretta, Jim Lewis, Eric Jacobson, Kirk Thatcher, and everyone who's had a hand in bringing back our freinds the Muppets.

    The Muppets are doing well, I think. Seriously.
  4. Colbynfriends Active Member

    Here Here. I agree with every word. The Muppets.com and Youtube videos are halarious and do sorta remind me of classic stuff. Whlie Studio DC was new, to me, the muppets have been doing alot of this stuff for years such as: lampooning TV shows and movies (as seen in the Zack and Cody sketch) and putting there spin on a popular song (with or without the artist) (as seen in GNO and Bop To The Top). And while I will admit, Studio DC wasn't the greatest thing I've seen the muppets do, AT LEAST THEY ARE TRYING. I'm sure that they worked real hard on that show, and they did the best they could do. and like prawnie said,

  5. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree with you here. Even MC has a way of getting heated at times. It's the way of forums. But here we tend to end up having one another's back - or that's how I see it.

    The Muppet performers are doing a great job! The DC script wasn't the best, neither was the quick-shot direction, but this was not for classic fans. This was a small sample - a taste for an audience at the core of the Disney market. It's not a travesty in the least. It's just an ad for the Muppet brand geared toward that key group.

    I do not take this appearance as the new pattern for future projects. I see DC as a "meet and greet" and not much more. We can't have the Muppets all to ourselves. Even so, they managed to mix a little classic Muppety magic into the special for people like me. I won't likely watch this again, but I will watch the next one. This demonstrates the Disney Company's commitment to the Muppets at long last.
  6. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It has been stated many times:
    This was less an actual special and more of a much needed “meet & greet” commercial to introduce the Muppet brand to Disney’s core demographic in a language they understand and with people they are familiar. It is in no way a sign of Muppet projects to come; rather this appearance will help insure more butts in the seats for the real film and projects to come.

    The Henson Company no longer owns the Muppets so your reported comments from Henson do not pertain to anything Muppet-related.

    I can agree that the Miss Piggy puppets are inconsistently built. I have seen some good ones, but several unattractive designs keep popping up.

    However, I believe the performances to be top-notch. I haven’t seen the characters exhibit this much chemistry with one another since Jim was around.

    While Muppet Central is a great place to state your opinion, it also must be tempered with respect. Calling the Muppets crap not only unproductive, it incites forum members and teeters on the edge of the forum guidelines.
  7. Beakerfan Active Member

    Thank you Prawnie!

    I would just like to add that, while I realize A LOT of people (especially adults) find Miley Cyrus/Ashley Tisdale/any young adult who stars in a Disney show absolutely irritating, might I remind you that these kids are HUGE celebrities? I mean, it's impossible to go into any store these days and NOT see Hannah Montana and High School Musical pencils or cups or shoes. Yeah, they're for kids, but kids mean newer, younger fans, which just might bring the Muppets back into the mainstream. I mean, seriously, you can't really beat publicity like this.
  8. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well said Ryan well said indeed.

    Disney has felt that they needed to Re intorduce the Muppets to a younger generation, and I think Muppets.com and Studio DC have started to do that. I know even me an old fan has fell back in love with the Muppets all over again. When I'm out and about and i read or hear the words Muppets I get all exited and want to know more on whats being said.
    The Muppets still have the maigc that people say is gone. It's there just you have to accept it. I feel sometimes that people don't want the Muppets to do good and make people happy, becuase Jim is gone. Even though Jim is gone the Muppets should and are still be around if people still love them, and they do just look at this site. I love the Muppets more now then ever and im really looking forward to what is ahead. Go Muppets!
  9. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think you hit the nail on the head there. Jim is gone and it took a while for the Muppets to find a post-Jim voice that still honored his work. They've finally done that, but some people will never be pleased. I am pleased. Trilled with the recent YouTubings, interviews and site clips.
  10. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I'm going to agree with Prawnie. There's been a lot of negativity, and a lot of positive reviews. But it seems at the moment that the negative people are completly negative, and the positive people then have to be completly positive in order to balance this. There's very few (There are a few...and I love them all) of us who manage to walk the line between adoration and loathing...which I feel is where we all should be. We shouldn't praise bad writing, but there's always something to praise. We shouldn't loathe bad acting, but there's always something that can be improved on.

    Why can't we strike a balance here?
  11. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Wow...So now you know how the fans of Disney Tween stars felt seeing the Muppets invade their space. No wonder there was hatred of Miss Piggy...she was one-upping London. If you think Mr Mosby is a Bell-Hop, then you obviously haven't seen enough of Zach and Cody to understand it, so why would you be expected to find it entertaining? If you only tuned in to see the Muppets and hated the Channel stars...then think how the fans of the Channel stars would have felt if they had tuned in to see their stars and found only Muppets.

    Grow up and stop commenting on stuff you don't seem to even begin to understand.
  12. Frogster Active Member

    No, guys... the performance was NOT top notch. The Muppets have performed way better. Yes, I am sorry for confusing Disney with Henson. But I'm talkng about the Muppet performers themselves. Doesn't matter if it's 'meet and greet' or another sad ABC movie; they're just for the younger audience now. And I don't need to watch Zack and Cody on a daily basis to see that the guy playing Mosby is an annoying and untalented actor.

    And Beau... this truly has nothing to do with Disney fans seeing Muppets on their shows. It wouldn't matter what station the Muppets were on if this is all that's left of their talent. I may not care for the Disney 'stars' but that's not the point. Although I will say they didn't help the cause lol.
  13. redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    *Stands up and gives Prawnie a standing ovation*

    Well said Ryan, thank you, thank you. I wholeheartdly agree. Especially with the stuff that has come out on the web, it has all been just fantastic. And I didn't think Studio DC was so bad at all. Just short, I wanted to see more, that was my only complaint though! What we did see was nice to see and I hope that there is more to come of that soon.

    Thank you again for writing that post Prawnie.
  14. Frogster Active Member

    Very, very nice. And I like the parts about how the Disney kids (Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Sweet Life, etc) are the new, hip stars.

    But let's look back at the REAL celebrities that the Muppets have worked with. Celebrities that earned their status, and aren't just young, good-looking singers who got lucky at an audition. Let's look at Bob Hope, Steve Martin, Caroll Burnett, Michael Caine and others. Are these the only people left who wanna with the Muppets? In the words of the Joker, "I mean, what happened? Did your &#*! fall off?" I know that's puttin it pretty roughly, and I seem like the biggest Muppet hater right now. So I'm sorry for offending people and working up an entire mob of Muppet fans against me. I'm not one who always has to be right, but this is one of those times where the points are all too obvious. I DO love the Muppets, and even some of their current performers. I just think things slowly got worse and worse. I worry that the day will come when the only way we'll see new Muppet stuff is online. And that sucks royally. I'm not sayin they need to be nasty and crass like Family Guy or SNL, but they found a way to bridge all the gaps back then, why couldn't they have kept that up?

    I'm going to reiterate what I wrote at the end of my post once again...
    No, guys... the performance was NOT top notch. The Muppets have performed way better. Yes, I am sorry for confusing Disney with Henson. But I'm talkng about the Muppet performers themselves. Doesn't matter if it's 'meet and greet' or another sad ABC movie; they're just for the younger audience now. And I don't need to watch Zack and Cody on a daily basis to see that the guy playing Mosby is an annoying and untalented actor.

    And Beau... this truly has nothing to do with Disney fans seeing Muppets on their shows. It wouldn't matter what station the Muppets were on if this is all that's left of their talent. I may not care for the Disney 'stars' but that's not the point. Although I will say they didn't help the cause.

    Again, I'm sorry for offending every last one of you. But we do deserve better Muppets, and we don't deserve to have our intelligence insulted. As I stated earlier, I'm not this huge hardcore fan that I've made myself out to be that's just insane about Muppets. I'm just an average fan; a fan who probably wouldn't say much of anything if it wasn't this bad. I'm just ticked at what I see now.
  15. Frogster Active Member

    Sorry... Suite Life lol :rolleyes:
  16. Redsonga Active Member

    Well, the trouble is a lot of the classic stars are not alive anymore..it is pretty sad :(. I hope the muppets work with more of them before we lose that opportunity forever..I don't mind if they are around the young new stars to but they should still be doing things with some stars/singers that relate to our age group and older (I know it was a Nick show but I always wished that the muppets could do something with the first cast of All That! or at least the members that would not mind getting back together :) )

    Another thing that might be good is another Muppet Family Christmas type movie to introduce the characters to more people again :)
  17. Frogster Active Member

    I think that's a great idea, Red.
  18. wwfpooh New Member

    The thing is...times and people change. As such, The Muppets are trying to get back to their former glory and to do that, they will have to fit in with the times, which unfortunately do involve the popularity of two twins who live in a hotel, a popstar-turned-rockstar leading a double life, and a bunch of high school kids in a musical production. The reason The Muppets may need the Disney Tweens now is because these stars are those people that the current Disney demographic can relate to and thus, seeing The Muppets with them could be Disney's way of reintroducing The Muppets to a modern audience.
  19. wwfpooh New Member

    As long as The Jim Henson Company, Disney, and Sesame Workshop are working together, the possibility of bringing the cast of Fraggle Rock, the Classic Muppets, and Sesame gang together once again could still be an occurance.
  20. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well i don't know as much as I love Muppet Family Christmas or all the apperacess by SS Muppets in the older movies. I just think we need to stay just the Classic Muppets right now. they need to be built up more before anything like them all comming together happens.

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